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Hey guys, One of the main points thrown against why Tom Brady deserves MVP over Matt Ryan is because the patriots have won 14 games vs the Falcons 11. (Bull**** reason imo but thats another post). But I wanted to talk about how in our regular season, these losses and other experiences have driven the Falcons to become the team they are today. I comment on a lot of things but the most important things I have in bold. Week 1 - Loss to Bucs. I feel like this loss was a sign of things to come because it took a MVP performance by Winston for the Bucs to win this game. Even though we lost the game, I feel that this game set the stage for our following winning streak, perhaps even a wake up call to the rookies on our team. Weeks 2 - Win against Raiders. - Lesson here? 2017 Falcons have luck. That catch by Hardy? Only teams favored by God to win superbowls make that play. Week 5-6. - Bromance road trip. The bonding and the development of the brotherhood could not be understated from this. Even though we lost to Seattle later (more on that below), I feel that the reason why the Falcons are so comfortable this week in Houston is because of this experience of living on the road for a whole week. Week 5 - The day Vic "Bust"ley became Vic "Beast"ly. Huge confidence booster for this guy and for our D. Week 6 Loss against Seattle. -Heartbreaking loss that was met with well deserved rage at the refs. Yet this loss has taught the Falcons players a very important lesson. DO NOT LEAVE THE GAME IN THE HANDS OF THE REFS. Don't believe me? Go back and watch every interview after this, and you will see how frequently this lesson is brought up. Week 8 win against the Packers. - What did the team learn? Matty Ice is still Matty Ice. In losing 2x to Seattle and Sand Diego 2 of the biggest plays were Matt Ryan's picks near the end of the game. (Seattle's pick was due to Julio tho) You can see confidence in Matt ryan's 4th quarter play drop nationally. Yet what happens here? No words needed. Ice is fine. Week 10 loss to the Eagles. - The only game were we got dominated the whole game, but still provided the team a important lesson. This game provided the blueprint of how one has to beat the Falcons. Be more physical and run the ball. Yea it sucks that we loss, but it is losses like this that really cause a team to look in a mirror at their weaknesses and improve. Because of this game, I am sure the Falcons are aware what are their weak points are and will not let the Patriots punk them on Sunday, like the Eagles did here. Also I believe it was after this loss, that the Falcons DBs started to RISE UP and hold voluntary meetings to go over film. Week 12 loss to the Chiefs - Probably the most important loss to us. During this stretch of games the Falcons were really starting to roll and appear unstoppable, everything was clicking and we just dismantled the Cardinals last week. What happens this week? We lost to the Chiefs because they threw the kitchen sink at us. Which is great, will not at the time but in hindsight this we exactly what we needed! Why is that? if you go back and watch the game I see a well prepared balls to the floor Andy Reid who executed a well designed game plan. In this game the Chiefs won because of aggressiveness, Andy went for it on 4th down frequently, sneakiness, fake 4th down play, and by running TONS OF MISDIRECTION at our defense. Because how do you attack a youthful, super agro, undisciplined D? Counters, misdirections, and jet sweeps. In short, the Falcons in this game, saw a weakness in our team (undisciplined tackling and D), and every other trick in the book (fake punt) and still almost won.This is good because by seeing all this tricky the Falcons should not be caught off guard (unless they pull a Steelers). Overall Confidence booster? Probably. Oh and Im sure Matt learned (again) not to make stupid throws in the end zone. Week 13-17 games - Extensive practice on how to recover onside kicks. And there you have it. I probably missed some lessons or experiences that the team went through (feel free to add what you remember). Overall I believe that our regular season experiences (esp the losses) were so key in the development of our team today. I believe in our season we have seen everything that a team could really throw at us, including a plethora of trick plays (i know in a saints game Brees also attempted some flea flickers). And as you all know trick plays are huge in games like the superbowl. If you ask people today why people are confident the Falcons will win Super Bowl 51, most may point to our 33.9 ppg and say we will win because our offense. Fewer say its because our D has improved enough to support our offense. But ask Falcon Fans who have been with the Falcons team through every down this season, though every triumph ( i.e. 500 yards passing 300 yards receiving by MR AND JJ Against Panties), and through every failure (i.e. pick 2 against the chiefs), and we will tell you the Falcons will win because of the lessons we learned and the brotherhood we built. Time to RISE THE **** UP ATLANTA!!! Game day, and a Super Bowl championship is tomorrow.
Firstly, let me start by saying that this organisation deserved credit for turning things around from last week. It was a great win yesterday. I went to sleep last night think we’d got very lucky, but having rewatched the game today I think we deserved it for fighting hard and staying in the game. ESPN were quick to point to turnovers etc. keeping us in the game, but the eagles had critical TOs and penalties that benefitted them, and as many breaks as we did. 1. Our defensive problem are on the right middle (the left side of the O) 10-15 yards deep. We seem to have a gaping hole in the zone there, and it was consistently open. We gave up at least 4 or 5 big completions to Wr’s on posts and slants across that area. The left sided also gave up the big pass on Philly’s last series. Is it our scheme, or lack of team speed? 2. Considering the way that Vick stretches defences because of the threat that he poses, I thought the D held up well for much of the game. We gave up some big plays (see point 1), but also made some crucial plays in return. We had decent pressure, even though it didn’t translate to sacks. 3. I may be wrong, but I could swear that there were a few plays where the eagles were in 3 or 4 wide, and we had LB’s lining up on the slot wr’s, rather than switching to Nickel. 4. MM gets blasted for his game planning, but he does run some sweet running plays. Some of our trapping plays and pulling plays were very well executed and effective. We ran a lot of them early, but seemed to go away from it in the 2nd and 3rd, when we became more direct and seemingly less effective. 5. The trap plays worked very well against Philly’s penetrating front 4, but our play calling in the passing game did nothing to slow it down or exploit it. The slow developing outs and 10-15 yard post were predictable as well as putting Ryan in trouble. 6. Do we run any routes other than Outs, curls and 10 yard post patterns, and checkoffs/dumpoffs to the flat? Where are the screens, flys and corners/fades? Where are the double moves? Our only screen was a WR screen (if it can be called a screen, as we had nobody out in front of Roddy), and even then we ran it poorly compared to the 2 WR screens that the eagles ran. 7. Phil Simms commented during the Chargers/Patriots game yesterday, that if you can’t throw to the backshoulder and having your WRs go up and get the ball, you are falling behind in the NFL. We are falling behind, as we never even try it. Julio has the athleticism to feast on back shoulder throws. 8. Gonzalez was a beast. Has he ever had a better game for us? The TD in the back of the endzone was stunning, as was Stephen Nicholas’ special team tackle at the end. 9. Matt Ryan – He missed a few plays and threw a few bad balls, but what a warrior. His command of the no-huddle was exceptional. He should be given more scope change plays during the rest of the game. 10. Baker and Bosher – Awful. Sorry Julio, I love what you bring to the team, but this year’s and next year’s 1st picks should have been a LT and CB. 11. The 3rd Qtr was a total train wreck (again). We started leaking chunks of yardage defensively. Offensively, turnovers, bad field position and conservative play calling put us in a hole and almost go us blown out. I don’t know if this is because we do a poor job of adjusting and anticipating opponents’ adjustment or if we are just too conservative starting the 3rd. Whatever it is, this has been a problem before and must be fixed. 12. We finished the 3rd qtr with an extremely conservative 2TE set motioning in and out of an unbalanced line. Aside from a sweet PA pass to Roddy for 17 yards on the first play, the other plays from that formation were painful to watch – and left us in 3rd and 12 at the end of the 3rd Qtr. 13. We were a totally different team in the 4th Qtr, with the no huddle. Prior to that we were running predominantly 2 Back and 2 TE sets. For the entire 4th Qtr (aside from a couple of goalline plays) we stitched up to 11 personnel (1 back, 1 TE, 3WRs), completed the 3rd and 12, and were much more effective. In the 4th we switched backs effectively between Turner, Quizz and Snelling. Prior to the 4th, Snelling, HD, Quizz and Ovie had very just 2 touches between them (a 5 yard pitch to Quizz with 1:50 to go in the 2nd, and handoff to Ovie on 1st and 10 from our own 1 in the 3rd Qtr). Between them in the 4th Qtr they had 7 touches. We need to get them involved more often, rather than forcing absolutely everything to the same 3 or 4 players. 14. Why didn’t we run the ball in the last 2 mins. We gave the eagles a shot at the end that they should not have had, and why did we punt down the middle of the field at the end, risking a big return? A well prepared staff should have managed the clock better.